Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Truvia vs. stevia



A friend recently asked me about the difference between Truvia and stevia.

Truvia is a branded, processed sugar substitute consisting partly of stevia extract and mainly of erythritol, a natural sugar alcohol that is almost non-caloric, does not affect blood sugar, does not cause tooth decay, and, in regular use (i.e., not extreme quantities), does not cause side effects.

Stevia is a plant; its leaves, the aqueous extract of the leaves, and purified steviosides are used as sweeteners. It is mostly just sweet but has a tinge of a licorice flavor. Stevia has a negligible effect on blood glucose and may even enhance glucose tolerance. Powdered, crystallized, and aqueous stevia can be purchased in natural foods stores.

Cutting the calories in your diet that come from sugars — everything from processed white sugar to the simple starches and carbohydrates that naturally occur in fruits and white flour — has multiple benefits. You will reduce your propensity towards insulin resistance and thereby cut your diabetes risk, lower inflammation caused by insulin spiking in the blood, lower fat storage and even lower LDL or "bad" cholesterol.

But it is not as simple as replacing the white sugar you use in your tea/coffee with Truvia or stevia. It's about reducing your overall intake of simple carbohydrates. To accomplish that, you should stay away from foods with a high glycemic load, such as sugar, white starches (white rice, white bread, potatoes), fruit juices and purees and juices from sugary vegetables like carrots and beets; even many alcoholic drinks are high in sugar. Eat instead: whole grains (brown rice, steel cut oats, buckwheat, flax flour, whole grain pasta), whole fruit in place of juice, whole vegetables.

Most people find they feel much better — have more energy, feel less tired — when they cut simple carbs out. After you flood your bloodstream with glucose, insulin spikes to take it out, and then you feel hypoglycemic and like eating something starchy again; it's exhausting, a vicious cycle, and over time very damaging to the circulatory system and linked to chronic
disease
. Complex carbs release glucose into the bloodstream much more slowly.

Going further: My brother also believes that, because there is a natural insulin spike at the beginning of the day, people should take advantage of that and have all of their carbs prior to 2pm and try to eat nothing during the 2 hours before you go to sleep. So he has steel cut oatmeal for breakfast, a sandwich on whole grain bread for lunch, things like that, and he tends to load up on proteins like fish or lentils for dinner accompanied by raw or lightly cooked vegetables (i.e., no more rice at dinnertime for him). This seems to be working for him.


21 comments:

  1. What is referred to as the stevia extract in Truvia is Rebiana. However, Rebiana is not an ingredient in the stevia plant, nor does it exist in nature. Rebaudioside A is naturally in the stevia leaf by the action of sunlight upon the leaves. Rebiana is produced by the action of stringent alcohols and chemicals on various stevia glycosides. Rebiana is simply the trade name Cargill gave to its chemically derived product in 2008. 9/10 of 1% of Rebiana is in Truvia. The other 99.1% is the eyrthritol. It's really a sugar product.

    I use SweetLeaf Stevia and am satisfied with its purity and taste.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Erythritol is not sugar

      Delete
  2. thanks MizMasala and yodasmith. this is very helpful. but if stevia is so natural, why do people say it works by tricking yoru mind and as a result you crave more sugar?

    ReplyDelete
  3. You might want to tell your brother that cooked/boiled lentils are primarily carbs, not proteins like many people assume. Do a little googling on it... :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. Here's what I found on lentils: "Approximately 26% of lentils' calories from protein. Lentils (and generally any pulses or legumes) have the third-highest level of protein, by weight, of any plant-based food (after soybeans and hemp). Lentils are deficient in two essential amino acids, methionine and cystine; however, sprouted lentils contain sufficient levels of all essential amino acids, including methionine and cystine. Lentils also contain dietary fiber, folate, vitamin B1, and minerals. Lentils are often mixed with grains, such as rice, which results in a complete protein dish. Lentils are one of the best vegetable sources of iron."

    ReplyDelete
  5. In the Stivia vs Truvia arena, I must say that after trying both, I much prefer Stivia. Consumers will find that Truvia is less expensive but Stivia is much sweeter, therefore you use less. I'll stay with Stivia because of its purity and stay away from the FDA approved Truvia...can't quite trust those guys!

    ReplyDelete
  6. I think Stivia is gross. I can not tolerate it.

    ReplyDelete
  7. If anything has a hint of licorice taste to it....no can do. Especially if it tastes like black licorice. Thanks for the clarification!!

    ReplyDelete
  8. It is so interesting that when they advertised Truvia, they said that its product eliminated the threat of Cancer! if you can believe that! that was present in the natural Stevia. Wow, and now I read this, and find that once again, man messes with mother nature, and resulting product is either harmful or has the potential of being so. I will stick to Stevia, too. For the person who does not like licorice flavor, I don't taste that, but there are many flavors, I like the Valencia Orange Stevia one for my teas.

    E

    ReplyDelete
  9. P.S. Thank you Miz Masala for sharing information contained within your article...

    ReplyDelete
  10. I was fortunate to find Stevia, I cannot detect the liccorice flavor at all. I cannot find the flavored stevia here in Florida, can anyone tell me where to find it, perhaps in health food stores?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You can find several flavors on Amazon.com

      Delete
  11. This was very informative. Thank you. After a terrible experience with Splenda several years ago, I have been so frightened to try anything other than processed white sugar. It's a long story what happened, but after seeing a G.I. and determining the problem, it took my system well over a year to get back to normal. I won't artificial sugars at all anymore. I think I just may give Stevia a try.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I also do not taste a liccorice flavor in Stevia, and coming from using raw sugar in tea I found that my craving for the tea many times a day was all about the sugar and stevia has taken that away.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Thanks! This was very helpful to me. I an getting off of splenda and want some thing actually good for me that isn't sugar. Stevia sounds great, maybe I can find a flavored stevia.thanks again.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Ms. Masala do you know if there has been any tests done on the effects of Stevia, Truvia, or Purevia and human vital organs? What about how these products effect the brain and potential disease such as Alzheimer's? Linda G..

    ReplyDelete
  15. Gastrointestinal (bloating, nausea) and neurological side effects (dizziness, numbness), muscle pain and (at high dosages) mutagenic activity have been reported. The best article I've read was on the Sloan-Kettering website: http://www.mskcc.org/mskcc/html/69386.cfm. The FDA has approved stevia, and some studies preliminary conclude that it is effective in lowering hypertension and hyperglycemia. It is also being studied for antitumor and anti-inflammatory properties.
    If taken with other antihypertensive and antidiabetic medications, stevia may have additive effects. Not enough is known about the use of stevia during pregnancy and breast-feeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use.

    Stevia might cause an allergic reaction in people who are sensitive to the Asteraceae/Compositae family of plants. This family includes ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many other plants.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I've been using Stevia for over 5 years and don't detect any licorice flavor at all. I was comparing Truvia versus Stevia, when I came upon this site and forum. I was all set to stay with Stevia and will, but was concerned when it mentioned effects that it might have on your body. I will check out the site mentioned by Miz Masala, to see what it says. My Dad is a diabetic and it's all in our family, so I sure don't want to get it. Also, need to lose weight and everything helps. I do have a problem with bloating and muscle pain, but have so many other issues that could be causing that. I only use Stevia in my coffee in the morning and cereal when I eat it for breakfast, not any other time during the day. I don't feel that I am taking in to much of it, but will be interested in what this site mentioned has to say about it. I don't want to go back to real sugar and even though honey is natural, it's still full of sugar? I'll see what is best for me.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I use Stevia and have a vanilla flavored bottle as well that I bought at a Health Food Store (Nutrition Smart in Florida)

    ReplyDelete
  18. i use both stevia & truvia and have never found an aftertaste in either. i guess if you use it expecting a licorice tast, you will find it. the mind gives us what we ask for....

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thank you for the information regarding the differences betwween Stevia and Truvia. After reading the ingredients in the Truvia, I was confused whether it was as natural as it says. I was a bit skeptical and wanted clarification. I use sweetner in my tea only and found Splenda had an aftertaste. I discovered Stevia and I haven't strayed from it. I live in Canada and I didn't like the brands in Canada so I purchase mine at Wegmans in the US...

    ReplyDelete